According to Irish lore, the story of St. Patrick’s Day goes like this: St. Patrick ordered a shot of whisky from the innkeeper; it arrived a little less than full. Teaching a hard lesson in generosity, St. Patrick informed the innkeeper that a devil, fed on the innkeeper’s dishonesty, now dwelled in his cellar. To banish the devil, the innkeeper had to change his ways. When St. Patrick came back, the innkeeper was serving up such hefty pours that the devil was withering away in the basement, and the saint banished it for good. In honor of the legend, partake of these generous local purveyors of St. Patty’s Day foods. —Arielle Stevenson
CROWLEY’S DOWNTOWN GRILL AND BAR 269 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-821-1111, crowleysdowntown.com. Got a hankering for some Irish meat and potatoes to wash down the stout? Crowley’s menu sports everything from corned beef and cabbage, to pub fries with gravy, and shepherd’s pie. They’re hosting a big block party on St. Paddy’s Day, so get ready to dance like a leprechaun at the end of a rainbow.
THE EMERALD 550 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-898-6054. No, this isn’t an Irish pub. In fact, everything served at the Emerald comes in liquid form. But on St. Patrick’s Day there’s almost always a drunk and disorderly punk band playing to a drunk and disorderly crowd. Join in the disorder by shooting an Irish Car Bomb, then slug down another can of Guinness.
FINLEY’S IRISH PUB & EATERY 13477 Belcher Road S, Largo, 727-535-7858, finleysirishpub.com. Corned beef and cabbage with boiled potatoes and carrots tops the menu at Finley’s in Largo, where their saying is “just like being in Ireland.” If you’re still hungry, there is shepherd’s pie, liver and onions, plus fish and chips. Irish beer favorites on tap, including Guinness, Killian’s, and Smithwick’s.
FLANAGAN’S IRISH PUB 465 Main St., Dunedin, 727-736-4994, flanagansirishpub.net. Flanagan’s will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day March 16-17, two fun-filled days of meat and potatoes. Try their fish and chips or pub-style chicken curry.
FOUR GREEN FIELDS 205 W. Platt St., Tampa, 813-254-4444, fourgreenfields.com. One of the first spots in Tampa folks could get a fresh pint of Guinness, Four Green Fields has been representing the four-leaf clover since 1992. The menu is chock full of Irish options, plus a full bar and live music.
HORSE AND JOCKEY BRITISH PUB AND RESTAURANT 1155 Pasadena Ave. S, South Pasadena, 727-345-4995. Although officially a Brit-pub, the Horse and Jockey offers some seriously delicious bites for St. Patrick’s Day. Try the fish and chips, steak and mushroom pie, or liver and onions.
JAMES JOYCE PUB 1724 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa, 813-247-1896, jamesjoyceybor.com. The James Joyce Pub is a great spot to duck in for some pints and hearty foods. Dozens of beer taps offer plenty of drinking options, plus the pub is equipped with a full bar. Go for the fish and chips, or shepherd’s pie.
MACDINTON’S SOHO 405 S. Howard Ave., Tampa, 813-251-8999, macdintons.com. Head to South Tampa’s St. Patrick’s Day party spot. Not only does MacDinton’s have a heavy pour and great drink specials, their menu is fully equipped with plenty o’ Irish favorites. Try the beer battered fish and chips, or the bangers and mash with imported Irish sausage.
MALONEY’S LOCAL IRISH PUB 9540 W. Linebaugh Ave., Tampa, 813-749-0859, maloneyslocalirishpub.com. North Tampans should be familiar with this Irish-inspired St. Paddy’s Day spot. Maloney’s hosts a huge block party every year for St. Paddy’s Day. Get a few pints and some bangers and mash or stout chicken. Beloved party band The Black Honkeys headline this year’s party.
MICKEY QUINN’S IRISH PUB AND GRILL 19703 Gulf Blvd., Indian Shores, 727-593-3208, 11800 Park Blvd., Seminole, 727-393-9510, mickeyquinnspub.com. It’s safe to say Mickey Quinn’s on Gulf Blvd. hosts one of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parties in the area. Just steps away from the ocean, Mickey Quinn’s does massive portions of corned beef, cabbage, shepherd’s pie, and booze for a great price.
O’BRIEN’S IRISH PUB AND GRILL 15435 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa, 813-961-4092, obrienspubs.com. O’Brien’s Irish Pub and Grill has been serving up authentic Irish fare to Tampa for 20 years. Choose from the extensive menu of Irish favorites like the rustic corned beef sandwich or a heaping portion of bangers and mash.
O’KEEFE’S FAMILY TAVERN & GRILL 1219 S. Fort Harrison Ave., Clearwater, 727-442-9034, okeefestavernonline.com. O’Keefe’s was established in 1961 by patriarch Bill O’Keefe in a 50-person taproom. It’s one of the longest-running (if not the longest-running) St. Patrick’s Day parties around. Plus, they make sure to keep it family-friendly. Try the corned beef and cabbage, fish and chips, or the Mulligan stew.
QUEENSHEAD EUROBAR AND RESTAURANT 2501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-498-8584, thequeensheadbar.com. Technically, Queenshead isn’t an Irish Pub, but the proprietors hail from Britain and know a thing or two about pub food in general. Queenshead makes one of the best plates of fish and chips around, complete with a pile of green peas. Or take a stab at the steak and ale pie, made with Smithwick’s gravy and mushrooms.
THE DUBLINER IRISH PUB 12836 Henderson Road, Tampa, 813-300-2076, 2307 W. Azeele St., Tampa, 813-258-2257, thedublineririshpub.com. Stop by one of The Dubliner’s two locations for a great St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Everything on the menu is Irish-themed, so there’s plenty to pick from. North Dub or South Dub, it’s hard to go wrong here.
THE GRIND HOUSE BAR & GRILL 1500 N. McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater, 727-726-5577, grindhousebarandgrill.com. The Grind House has to be one of the area’s most authentic English and Irish-inspired menus. Order the fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, Yorkshire pudding, Cornish pasty dinner, and beef Guinness pie.